Startups of Puerto Rico Showcase – Tuesday, October 15th in New York City

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Are you interested in knowing more about the startup community in Puerto Rico? If so, you can’t miss the Puerto Rico Startup Showcase scheduled for Tuesday, October 15, 2013 in New York City. Representatives of six early-stage startups from Puerto Rico will pitch investors, advisors and entrepreneurs from the New York community at the event hosted by Microsoft.

The evening session begins at 6pm and runs through 9:30pm with a social event to follow hosted by Fans & Friends of Startups of Puerto Rico.

Startups of Puerto Rico is a entrepreneurial factory generating founders of technology-based firms based in Puerto Rico. Through its community activities, Startups of Puerto Rico is defining an economic development paradigm based on leveraging the unique passion and genius of the Puerto Rican people.

In addition to Microsoft, other sponsors of the October 15th event include Latingenious, the Founder Institute, the Latino Startup Alliance, Piloto 151, Paranda, and Clearshore.



Thompson on Tuesday: My Take On The Crazy NYC 2013 Race For Mayor

As a Native New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent and a life-long Democrat, I was undecided about my choice for mayor in the Democratic primary race until yesterday.  I considered several of the Democratic nominees for mayor, but had to narrow it down to my top three: Christine Quinn, Bill De Blasio, and Bill Thompson. (In full disclosure,  I once donated $25 to Quinn’s campaign.)

As of the posting of this entry, the polls show De Blasio suddenly leading the Democratic pack and there’s some chatter that he might win the Democratic nomination without the expected run-off. We’ll see how it all plays out in five days.

I voted for Bill Thompson in 2009 against Michael Bloomberg. Since I was torn between three candidates this year, I decided to go again with Thompson on Tuesday. He barely lost to the billionaire Bloomberg in 2009 and I believe Thompson deserves another shot at being the mayor of New York City.

I considered supporting Christine Quinn as the first female and the first lesbian mayor, but I just could not get passed the fact that in 2008 she was on team Bloomberg and helped him extend term limits allowing him three terms as mayor. I also seriously considered De Blasio because I think he is the most progressive Democrat in the race and I like his multicultural family. If De Blasio wins the race outright I won’t be extremely disappointed.

However, I’ll be voting for Thompson on Tuesday and wish him all the best.

The general election might be an entirely different story because as a Latino I’ll definitely consider Adolfo Carrion, the former Bronx Borough President, who is running for mayor as an Independent. I’ve always voted on the Democratic line but it might be tough not voting for a fellow Puerto Rican in the general election in November. However, voting for Carrion in the general election might help whomever the Republican candidate might be. I’ll worry about that in November.

For now, go Thompson!


Timbo Gonzalez Wins 2013 Reb Bull Slaps Handball Tournament

Timbo Gonzalez (foreground), Geo Vasquez (background.)

Timbo Gonzalez (foreground), Geo Vasquez (background.)

Timbo Gonzalez, one of the top ranked handball players in the world, won the 2013 Red Bull Slaps this past weekend at the legendary Coney Island handball courts on Surf Avenue and West 5th Street in New York City. Gonzalez, who won the first annual Red Bull Slaps three years ago, defeated defending champion Geo Vasquez in the big blue division.

Red Bull Slaps is a one-on-one street handball tournament that brings together New York City’s best handball players to compete for prizes and bragging rights in the small ball, big blue and pump ball divisions. The invite-only tournament brings 96 of handball’s top players from across the five boroughs to compete for cash prizes and ultimate NYC bragging rights.

Hosted by New York handball legend John “Rookie” Wright, the one-day event was held Saturday, June 8.  The tournament is a single elimination format with no player rankings. All players are put into a random draw to determine brackets and match-ups.

2013 Red Bull Slaps, Coney Island, NY. June 8, 2013.

2013 Red Bull Slaps, Coney Island, NY. June 8, 2013.

Gonzalez, a Puerto Rican who was born in the East New York section of Brooklyn and raised in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx, was excited at the opportunity to regain the Red Bull Slaps title. He started playing handball when he was 8 years old and began to take the sport seriously when he became 15. Gonzalez was attracted to the competitiveness of the sport, which his parents also played.

“My parents would bring me along on tournaments,” said Timbo. “It wasn’t just a game that was played in the park, it was bigger than that.”

Gonzalez, who is 21 years-old and presently lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn, learned about the Red Bull handball tournament through word-of-mouth. He’s passionate about the game and should continue to be a strong advocate for the sport for many years to come.

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